Here’s What You Need to Know About US Deportation Laws

Deportation is the formal removal of an immigrant or non-citizen from the United States. There are several reasons that an immigrant can get sent to their country of origin. These reasons depend on what kind of immigrants they are.

Deportation lawyers from Law Offices of Robert Tsigler explain what types of immigrants can get deported and the possible grounds for their deportation:

Who can get deported?

Undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants, or illegal aliens, get deported because they either crossed the border and entered the United States illegally or came to the country illegally but have stayed beyond the permitted time detailed in their temporary visa.

Documented immigrants

Documented immigrants who are still within their permitted time can get deported, too. Depending on their purpose for staying in the country, they can get removed if they violate their terms. Tourists, for example, can get deported if they receive work and compensation, and international students may face deportation if they violate student visa rules.

Even green-card holders, who are considered permanent residents, can also be deported for violating specific immigration laws.

Grounds for deportation

Upon deportation, the authorities will utilize an immigrant’s conviction as a reason for the order of removal. The Immigration and Nationality Act, or the Hart-Celler Act, was enacted in 1965 to reorganize the structure of immigration law and has since served as the basis of immigration policy. It provides definitions for immigrants or non-citizens and possible grounds for deportation.

Criminal convictions

Aggravated felonies

Section 238 of the Immigration and Nationality Act lists the expedited removal of aliens convicted of aggravated felonies. An aggravated felony falls into three types:

  • Crimes that are always aggravated felonies: kidnapping, drug trafficking, human trafficking, rape, prostitution, sexual abuse of minors, child pornography
  • Crimes that count as aggravated felonies if the sentence exceeds a year: bribery, burglary, counterfeiting, forgery, perjury, theft, obstruction of justice
  • Crimes that count as aggravated felonies if the victim’s loss exceeds $10,000: fraud, tax evasion, money laundering

Crimes involving moral turpitude

  • Aggravated assault
  • Attempted lewd acts on a minor
  • Arson
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Failure to register as a sex offender
  • Felony hit and run
  • Trespass

Drug crimes and firearms offenses

  • Conscious possession of any controlled substance (cocaine, heroin, LSD, peyote, and prescription drugs) without medical prescription
  • Purchasing, selling, using, owning, and carrying any firearm or destructive device

Domestic violence

●     Domestic battery

  • Corporal injury to a spouse
  • Child abuse
  • Child endangerment
  • Child neglect
  • Elder abuse
  • Aggravated trespass


Acts that can be classified as dangerous misconduct and endanger the security of other natural citizens are grounds for deportation. Section 237, Article 4 (A) lists three sub-clauses outlining distinct grounds:

  • Espionage
  • Putting public safety and national security in peril
  • Intentions to overthrow the government
  • Terrorist activities
  • Participation in Nazi persecution
  • Participation in genocide
  • Commission of acts of torture and extrajudicial killing
  • Recipient of military-style training from terrorist organizations

Who handles deportations?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handle everyday immigration matters, especially the application process. They can also send non-citizens for removal proceedings significantly if they exceed the approved number of years and have no right to remain in the country.

USCIS hearings are less formal than the usual court proceedings and have less regard for evidence. Witnesses are allowed to testify for the immigrant, and the judge will decide at the end.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

For any non-citizens arrested for crimes, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) handles immigration enforcement matters after prison time.

Customs and Border Protection

The Customs and Border Protection guard the United States’ territorial border and other points of entry. They have the power to expedite removals for matters concerning these points of entry and skip official removal proceedings.

Executive Office for Immigration Review

The final decision maker who dictates any matters concerning the previous agencies is the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). Aliens may defend themselves against the removal and prove their right to remain in the country. The EOIR holds the removal proceedings and has the power to override the deportation order.

What should an immigrant facing deportation do?

One of the things you can do when faced with a deportation charge is to voluntarily depart from the country before the removal proceeding is completed. However, if you’re not comfortable with this option and you’re undocumented, you can apply for the adjustment of status proceeding to apply for a lawful permanent resident status.

Some Amerasian immigrants who faced any form of abuse by a family member who is a U.S. citizen or resident filed a petition to legitimize their immigrant status through applications I-360 and AOS. They often seek the help of an immigration lawyer who will gather information to draft their application and affidavit. In the said affidavit, it must be shown that the applicant experienced a substantial form of psychological, emotional, verbal, physical, sexual, and financial abuse by their American family member.

Their affidavit must also show that they maintained good moral character while they’re in the United States. They should also show that they have not been involved in any criminal infractions and have respected the United States of America laws. Aside from that, they should also attest that they have been an active member of the community.

Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution grants a few rights for immigrants. Among these is the right to a lawyer. Immigrant authorities are obligated to refrain from immediate deportation and allow the immigrant a chance to be heard. Of course, this only applies to immigrants that can provide documentation of their entry.


Being faced with deportation charges could be life-altering. The fact that you’re far from your home country, family, and friends are already troubling, much more being forced to go to a foreign court to fight your case. If you find yourself in this situation, know that you’re not alone.

Immigrants that believe they have a right to remain in the country can insist on a hearing with representation to defend them. New York City especially has several experienced deportation lawyers due to the number of immigration cases held in the city. If you find yourself facing a deportation case, remember to seek NYC deportation help from a seasoned lawyer.

How to Deal with Survivor’s Guilt when Living in Another Country

Thousands of immigrants in this country have to deal with the guilt of leaving people behind, sometimes in disastrous conditions. They are fathers, mothers, and children looking for hope and opportunity. In many cases, they might have a plan to bring them over, but the period in between can be difficult to deal with, and there’s nothing that’s guaranteed either. What can you do if you’re struggling with survival guilt as an immigrant?


Causes of Guilt

The Guilt experienced by survivors usually occurs when someone has been through an unusual event. Also, immigrants often go through a similar kind of guilt. However, you should take note of the fact that not everyone who has been through such an event will develop such guilt. Numerous factors combine and are responsible for the development of survivor’s guilt after they have survived a traumatic event.

  • When the person is suffering some other mental conditions that include, anxiety or depression.
  • When the person already has gone through a similar kind of trauma, such as childhood abuse.
  • When friends and family are not supportive enough.
  • The person shares a family history of several similar psychiatric problems.
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol.

A lot of researchers have concluded that survivors often imagine their role in a particular event, and this is how they develop feelings of guilt.

Tips to Cope up with Such a Situation

Today, we are sharing a few tips and tricks that are proven to help people cope up with survivor’s guilt that they are experiencing. They can also deal with other trauma-related symptoms effectively.

However, we strongly recommend that if a person feels that they are not able to cope with the symptoms of guilt or if the episodes are severe than expected, then they should seek professional help. As an immigrant, there are several different kinds of guilt that people often develop. Let us know a few tips that will help people cope up with the survivor’s guilt that they are suffering with.

Keep in Touch

The most important thing you can do is make sure that you stay in touch with the people back home as often as you can. Thankfully, we have many tools to do that easily these days. WhatsApp is perfect and allows anyone with a data plan to communicate fast and cost-free. We would also suggest that you get a phone for anyone who doesn’t have a mobile back home so you can stay in touch and make sure that it has a decent data plan.

Remember Who You’re Doing This For

Never take your eyes off the prize. If your goal is to bring your children back and they are struggling back home, make sure that you take care of them, but also remember that you’re doing this for them. Remind them daily that you’re thinking about them and will not leave them behind. You also have to be ready to look after their financial needs, so you will need to look at ways to send money online if they need help. Make sure that you use a reliable service, such as one at, with many locations to make things as easy as possible for them.

Look at Who’s Truly Responsible

You also have to put things into perspective and look at the true reason why you’re here. You aren’t to blame for bad governance or lack of security. You can mourn for those who have to suffer but don’t blame yourself for trying to find a way out. The most important thing is not taking personal responsibility for bad circumstances that are out of your control.

Express Your Emotions

In many cases, immigrants learn how to show a strong face when dealing with adversity. But if you’re alone in a foreign country and have no one to fall back on, you need to find an outlet. Some decide to go for therapy, but that’s not something everyone has the means for or is comfortable with.

If you want to get through these rough times, you need to learn how to express and face your emotions. It’s okay to cry from time to time, or maybe you feel like screaming. Either way, you need to find a way to let it out. Then, we would suggest you start working on building a support system. Look for organizations dealing with new immigrants and refugees. Also, try to reach out to others in your community if it has a strong presence where you are. You’ll have the chance to build and get support from other people who are or have been through the same ordeal as yours.

If you had to leave friends or family behind for a chance at life, don’t feel guilty. Always remember the true causes for it and let them know that they are close to your heart.

Accept the Emotions and Allow Them as it Comes

Though survivor’s guilt is not always practical, it is often treated as a reaction to an incident that a person has gone through. The person should permit the emotions that are surfacing and accept them as they come. Such people need some time to bear with what is happening in their life. Patience is required to process the fear, guilt, grief, etc.

If such feelings become overwhelming with time then they should learn some coping techniques, and if it becomes unmanageable, then the survivor must seek professional help.

Using Mindful Techniques

It is critical that people who have experienced trauma should be aware of some mindful techniques. People who have immigrated to a different country, away from their loved ones often suffer from intense guilt particularly when they have flashbacks or go through moments of unbearable and intense feelings. Some grounding techniques will also work for them. They can try scrunching the nearby available fabrics in their hand while concentrating on their breath, and take note of sounds from both inside and outside of the room.


Self-care will help people deal with survivor’s guilt to a great extent. The guilt that they are going through is often frightening and overwhelming. A few activities will also help them feel good that includes creating art, listening to soothing music, self-pampering, etc. People also feel good when they help others and bring a smile to their face. However, with the right tricks and tips, you can easily overcome this.